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Gov’t brings omnibus prior actions bill to Parliament to facilitate 3. review of Greek program

The omnibus bill containing the prior actions required to complete Greece’s third program review will be send at the parliament’s relevant committees on Tuesday (Jan. 9), where it will be discussed until Thursday.

  • The bill is 600-pages heavy and contains 50 prior actions

The bill will proceed at the plenum on Friday where it will be fast-tracked, so that it can be voted on on Monday night (Jan. 15). It includes legislation bringing changes to various issues such as:
-Welfare benefits
-Opening the energy market and changes in public power utility PPC
-Launching of strikes by the primary labour unions
-Boosting the role of economic prosecutors
-Mediation (the out-of-court settlement of disputes)

The government aims to have the bill approved ahead of the Eurogroup on January 22, which will discuss whether the program review has been successfully concluded and open the way for the disbursement of the loan installment that is estimated to be at 5.5 billion euros.

If things go by wish, the fourth review of the Greek program is expected to conclude by June. Greece hopes to exit the program including the lenders’ supervision in August.

In an article entitled “Greece’s 10-step road map to a bailout programme exit in August,” Bloomerg had asked experts about the future steps.

“For Greece, 2018 is a crucial year,” Bloomberg writes adding “The key question in the months ahead for what was once the epicentre of the European credit crisis is:

  • Will it turn the corner and wean itself of external aid like Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus — something the Greek government wants?
  • Or, will the current bailout program, which ends August 20, be followed by a similar arrangement — as some observers expect?
 “Things are looking better for Greece, having regained access to markets and with the recovery gathering speed,” Fabio Balboni, European Economist at HSBC Bank Plc in London, said in a January 4 note to clients. “In 2018, the country might finally exit its bailout program, but a clean exit might prove challenging if the Eurozone fails to deliver substantial and credible debt relief.”

Exiting the bailout without any follow-up arrangement would create an annoyance for the country’s financial sector: it would mean junk-rated Greek banks won’t be eligible for a waiver allowing them to pledge sub-investment grade sovereign assets as collateral for the ECB’s normal refinancing operations, which provide the country’s lenders with around €13 billion (Dh57 billion) in liquidity. This means that once Greece is no longer in a bailout program banks would have to convert some of that into Emergency Liquidity Assistance, which carries a 150-basis-point penalty over regular credit lines. – full Bloomberg article here

PS I need to write an article on what will happen when Greece exits the bailout program, numbers and figures flourish, but the country has been deprived of its assets and  the folk is left drained.


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